By Evie Andreou
Disgruntled residents and shop owners along Tseri Avenue in Nicosia said on Tuesday they were contemplating reporting the government for possible waste of public funds should the planned redevelopment of the street materialise.
Less than a week after Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said in an unequivocal tone that the planned redevelopment of the street would go ahead despite opposition, the Tseri Avenue Initiative said they would continue to prevent the current plans from being implemented and would proceed with drastic measures.
The Initiative has been long protesting against the redevelopment because according to them, its planning was outdated and would end up in the closing down of some 150 businesses, leaving more than 1,000 people out of work.
Residents and shop owners of the area had proposed modifications to the original plans, that had been drafted a decade ago and for which the municipality only secured funding this year.
At a press conference, the group presented a report of the Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) according to which the plans the government wants to proceed with are not suitable for the avenue, for various technical reasons and it appeared baffled as to why the state pushes ahead with it.
The final plan, Hasikos had said, includes three traffic lanes, pavements two to three metres wide, 20 pedestrian crossings, seven light controlled junctions, two speed bumps, two roundabouts, up to 240 parking spots and assistance for people with disabilities.
The members of the Initiative said they believe the matter could very well concern waste of public funds since the state will spend money on a project which is not needed instead of spending less on a much more suitable project for the avenue.
Residents had said that the plan does not provide for roadside parking that will allow safe and direct access to the shops along the avenue and that it gives priority to serving through traffic at the expense of pedestrians and local commerce.